Phillips amazed as Dunlop rides to the rescue as his new sponsor
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Lisburn's Carl Phillips, who came second in last season's National Superstock 600cc Championship, has been thrown a racing lifeline by none other than 13-time Isle of Man TT winner Michael Dunlop - who has agreed to sponsor the 23-year-old in this season's British Superstock 1000cc series.
Phillips had been struggling to find a team to run him in the British Championship this term despite a strong 2016 campaign, but big-hearted Dunlop has stepped in and agreed to build Phillips a competitive Superstock machine, which will cost the Ballymoney man around £20,000.
"I've been speaking to Michael since before Christmas as he's been giving me advice and was also speaking to a few teams for me, but for him to agree to buy me a bike is an amazing gesture," said young Phillips, who will be running his bike in MD Racing livery, but currently has his nose to the grindstone working on new personal sponsors to try and meet his running costs for the year ahead.
"The bike I will be riding will be a sister bike if you like to whatever manufacturer Michael decides to go with for his Superbike.
"That's not yet been decided, but I do know we will be testing in Spain at the end of the month so it will be sorted very soon.
"For now I just need to keep trying to find additional support to fund the running costs, which will be in the region of £25,000."
Dunlop's announcement over his own future is thought to be imminent. Not one to court publicity, all he said was: "I see Carl a bit like myself; he speaks his mind and enjoys the banter, but he's a talented lad.
"It's a hard Championship to get a ride in and he deserves a chance."
Phillips concluded: "There's no pressure on me but I'll not be messing about; I know I can be competitive and I think the 1000cc bike will suit my style."
Round one of the 2017 Championship takes place at Donington Park at the end of March.